I do wish to begin with an apology, because cold calls are easy to identify for those who spend time answering the telephone professionally. What must be frustrating to those making the calls is that they don’t believe their call is cold.
Let’s begin by identifying a cold call:
- You call someone who’s name has been given to you by a friend or colleague without being introduced and consider them to be a prospect.
- You send out a letter and then call the contact to follow it up.
- Your contact’s name came from a specific target list.
All of the above scenarios demonstrate situations where you are making a cold call. However, managers and team leaders may try to heavily suggest that the above are referred to as warm leads, it’s not true and you will have a struggle to reach the decision maker in your attempts to get past the gatekeeper.
Being natural and unscripted will only get you so far with the gatekeeper. As you know, scripted calls are a total no, no and will be written off as swiftly as possible. However, lashings of natural charm and gushing compliments will also impede any progress you wish to make with the gatekeeper. Honesty and respect will make an impact, but you will have to make quite a number of calls to succeed.
Remember, those answering the phones have considerably more to do within the business than just that task alone. It’s highly likely that the gatekeeper is opening letters and handling emails for decision makers, so there are very few back doors in your quest to reach the decision maker using multiple marketing channels.
The ultimate answer is very simple…obtain a referral. ‘This takes so much time’ I hear you cry, but you can build and develop a successful network with the right attitude. As well as thinking about your route to decision makers, it’s well worth being aware and switched on to what others are seeking. So, whilst you are on a mission to gain referrals from others, you will also need to obtain referrals for them too.
Networking for business does take up your time, but also pays dividends. If you find that this activity restricts your availability, do remember that you can rely on telephone answering and back office support from us here at Message Takers.